Notes From The Field #4

Research Center Notes on Dynarski paper

1. Fall 2011 Enrollment Coverage

Dynarski, Hemelt, and Hyman calculate the National Student Clearinghouse’s coverage of Fall 2011 enrollments for all Title IV postsecondary institutions. In their calculation, the denominator includes enrollments at both “degree-granting” and “non-degree granting” institutions. Non-degree granting institutions do not award any credentials higher than a certificate, and generally do not submit data to the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse’s own coverage calculations, which are based on the universe of Title IV degree-granting institutions, provide a view of coverage that may be more applicable when research is focused on the attainment of an associate or higher degree. The table below compares these two complementary methods of calculating coverage for selected institutional sectors and racial/ethnic categories:

All Institutional Sectors
White Black Hispanic
Dynarski et al.  – All Title IV Institutions 93.1% 87.7% 89.6%
NSC – Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions 95.0% 91.2% 93.5%
Public, 2 year
White Black Hispanic
Dynarski et al.  – All Title IV Institutions 95.9% 95.5% 95.4%
NSC – Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions 98.7% 97.9% 98.7%
Public, 4 year
White Black Hispanic
Dynarski et al.  – All Title IV Institutions 99.6% 99.4% 99.6%
NSC – Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions 99.6% 99.4% 99.7%
Private, non-profit, 4-year
White Black Hispanic
Dynarski et al.  – All Title IV Institutions 93.8% 88.0% 91.8%
NSC – Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions 93.6% 89.8% 92.6%
All For-profit
White Black Hispanic
Dynarski et al.  – All Title IV Institutions 45.9% 50.7% 39.9%
NSC – Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions 58.2% 65.2% 53.0%
These calculations are based on IPEDS Fall 2011 enrollments.

For researchers in need of detailed coverage statistics for the Title IV degree-granting universe, the Clearinghouse Research Center maintains an Excel workbook, disaggregated by sector, region, state, and  year. The workbook contains enrollment coverage rates going back to Fall 2003, and is available for download from the “Working With Our Data” section of our website: http://nscresearchcenter.org/workingwithourdata/

2. FERPA Blocks

Dynarski et al. find that accounting for FERPA blocks when analyzing StudentTracker® results is non-trivial due to changes in institutional-level FERPA block rates over time. In 2012, the Clearinghouse Research Center published a document summarizing the “Impact of Directory Information Blocks on StudentTracker Results.” This document, available for download from the “Working With Our Data” website, shows the impact of FERPA blocks, disaggregated by state, sector, and year. As a follow-up to this analysis, the Research Center is assessing the feasibility of publishing a document that would show institution-level FERPA block rates over time.